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WtuTi"?;'";  V.'-\ 


ui                  Lfl 










f^h  a  Statement  dy  Mrs.Ste^'enson) 





Rev.  Wm,  Goodrow 


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Jfatfjer  ISamten 

Jfatfier  Bamien 

Hn  ©pen  Xetter  to  tbc 

"RcvcrenO  2)r.  JK^Oc  ot  Monolulu  from 

■Robert  Xoui6  Stevenson 


Zbe  Hve  /ibaria  pre00 

Itotrc  S>ame,  InMana 
"CI.  S.  ». 

DEC  4    1959 

J^ubligfjer'fi  preface. 

<y|^HE  constant  demand  for  the  far-famed 
^^  "Open  Letter"  in  durable  rather  than 
dainty  form,  but  more  especially  the 
reiterated  assertion  that  Stevenson  regretted 
this  production  and  would  have  recalled  it 
had  recall  been  possible,  are  the  raison  d'etre 
of  the  present  reprint.  An  American  author 
of  some  repute  has  had  the  hardihood  to 
declare  in  one  of  his  books  that  "Stevenson 
did  not  really  b.l  ve  what  he  wrote,  neither 
did  he  intend  to  mte  what  he  did.  .  .  .  Steven- 
son could  not  h:,v^  been  honest  at  heart  when 
he  wrote  his  .'o.;ier  to  Dr.  Hyde."  It  is  well, 
l)erhaps,  for  t'is  worthy  that  the  pen  of  the 
man  whom  he  thus  defames  is  now  powerless. 
Feeling  sure  that  some  day  when  "in 
his  resting  grave"  the  defender  of  Father 
Damien  would  need  to  be  defended  himself, 
we  took  care  several  years  ago  to  secure  from 
Mrs.  Stevenson  a  statement  regarding  the 
"Open  Letter  to  the  Rev.  Dr.  Hyde."  In 
answer  to  our  inquiry  as  to  the  truth  of  the 
assertion,  so  often  repeated,  that  her  husband 
regretted  the  letter,  and  that  before  his  death 
his  opinion  of  Father  Damien  had  undergone 
a  change,  Mrs.  Stevenson  entered  an  indig- 
nantly emphatic  denial  which  is  p'resented 
on  another  page.  This  testimony,  we  think, 
should  forever   settle   the  matter.     The  inquiry 

publidber'd  preface. 

was  made  through  the  late  Charles  Warren 
Stoddard,  who  was  then  contemplating  a 
new  and  enlarged  edition  (since  published) 
of  his  own  beautiful  tribute  to  Father  Damien, 
"The  Lepers  of  Molokai."  Mrs.  Stevenson's 
letter  is  in  our  possession. 

It  will  further  enhance  the  value  and 
interest  of  the  present  edition  of  Stevenson's 
powerful  apologia  to  state  that  it  is  an  exact 
reprint  of  the  original  issue,  now  of  extreme 
rarity,  which  '  has  a  few  corrections  in  the 
writer's  own  hand.  The  "Open  Letter"  was  first 
printed  in  a  small  pamphlet  of  thirty-two 
pages,  at  Sydney,  N.  S.  W.,  on  March  27,  1890. 
Many  editions  of  it  had  been  published  before 
Mr.  Stevenson's  death,  and  it  is  worth  recalling 
that  he  persistently  refused  to  accept  pay- 
ment from  any  source  for  this  defence  of  the 
Apostle  of  Molokai.  He  once  wrote  to  a 
London  pubHsher:  "The  letter  to  Dr.  Hyde 
is  yours,  or  any  man's.  I  will  never  touch  a 
penny  of  remuneration.  I  do  not  stick  at 
murder;  I  draw  the  line  at  cannibaHsm.  I 
could  not  eat  a  penny  roll  that  piece  of  bludgeon- 
ing   brought    me." 

The  use  of  the  Rev.  Dr.  Rawnsley's  exquisite 
sonnet,  from  the  collection  of  poems  entitled 
"Valete,"  is  with  his  kind  permission, 

Notre  Dame,  Ind. 
Jan.    10,    1911. 

0ivsi,  B^tiert  Houis;  i^tetien£(on. 

...  As  to  the  "Open  Letter  to  Dr. 
Hyde,"  nothing  can  make  me  believe  that 
Louis  ever  regretted  the  subject  -  matter  of 
that  piece  of  writing.  To  me,  up  to  his 
last  hours,  he  spoke  always  in  the  same 
strain.  His  admiration  for  the  work  and 
character  of  "that  saint,  that  martyr," 
as  he  invariably  called  Father  Damien, 
remained  unchanged;  and  any  mention 
of  the  cowardly  attack  on  the  dead  man's 
memory  brought  a  flush  of  anger  into  his 
face  and  a  fire  to  his  eye  that  were 
unmistakable.  .  .  . 

J^atber  2)amien 

Hn  ©pen  Xetter  to  tbe  TRcvcxentf  Dr.  M^^e  of 
•fconoluln  from  iRobcrt  Xouls  Stevenaon 

Sydney,  February  25,  1890. 

^^  I R ,  —  It  may  probably  occur 
^^  to  you  that  we  have  met, 
and  visited,  and  conversed ; 
on  my  side  with  interest.  You  may 
remember  that  you  have  done  me 
several  courtesies  for  which  I  w^as  pre- 
pared to  be  grateful.  But  there  are 
duties  which  come  before  gratitude,  and 
offences  which  justly'  divide  friends,  far 
more  acquaintances.  Your  letter  to  the 
Reverend  H.  B.  Gage  is  a  document 
which,  in  my  sight,  if  you  had  filled  me 
w^ith  bread  v^-hen  I  ^vas  starving,  if  you 

^atbec  Damien. 

had  sat  tip  to  nurse  my  father  when  he 
lay  a-dying,  would  j^et  absolve  me  from 
the  bonds  of  gratitude.  You  know 
enough,  doubtless,  of  the  process  of 
canonization  to  be  aware  that,  a  hun- 
dred years  after  the  death  of  Damien, 
there  will  appear  a  man  charged  with 
the  painful  office  of  the  devil's  advocate. 
After  that  noble  brother  of  mine,  and  of 
all  frail  clay,  shall  have  lain  a  century 
at  rest,  one  shall  accuse,  one  defend  him. 
The  circumstance  is  unusual  that  the 
devil's  advocate  should  be  a  volunteer, 
should  be  a  member  of  a  sect  immedi- 
ately rival,  and  should  make  haste  to 
take  upon  himself  his  ugly  office  ere 
the  bones  are  cold ;  unusual,  and  of  a 
taste  which  I  shall  leave  my  readers 
free  to  qualify;  unusual,  and  to  me  in- 
spiring. If  I  have  at  all  learned  the 
trade  of  using  words  to  convey  truth 
and  to  arouse  emotion,  vou    have    at 

■Robert  Xouis  Stevenson. 

last  furnished  me  with  a  subject.  For 
it  is  in  the  interest  of  all  mankind  and 
the  cause  of  public  decency  in  every 
quarter  of  the  world,  not  only  that 
Damien  should  be  righted,  but  that 
you  and  your  letter  should  be  displayed 
at  length,  in  their  true  colors,  to  the 
jiublic  eye. 

To  do  this  properly,  I  must  begin 
by  quoting  you  at  large:  I  shall  then 
proceed  to  criticise  your  utterance  from 
several  points  of  view,  divine  and 
human,  in  the  course  of  which  I  shall 
attempt  to  draw^  again  and  with  more 
specification  the  character  of  the  dead 
saint  whom  it  has  pleased  you  to 
vilify :  so  much  being  done,  I  shall  say 
farewell  to  you  forever. 

''Honolulu,  Aug.  2,  1889. 
"Rev.  H.  B.  Gage. 

''Dear  Brother: — In  answ^er  to  your 
inquiries  about  Father  Damien,  I  can 

f  atber   Damien. 

only  reply  that  Ave  who  knew  the  man 
are  surprised  at  the  extravagant  news- 
paper laudations,  as  if  he  was  a  most 
saintly  philanthropist.  The  simple 
truth  is,  he  was  a  coarse,  dirty  man, 
headstrong  and  bigoted.  He  w^as  not 
sent  to  Molokai,  but  went  there  with- 
out orders;  did  not  staj'  at  the  leper 
settlement  ( before  he  became  one  him- 
self), but  circulated  freeh'  over  the 
whole  island  ( less  than  half  the  island 
is  devoted  to  the  lepers),  and  he  came 
often  to  Honolulu.  He  had  no  hand 
in  the  reforms  and  improvements  in- 
augurated, which  were  the  work  of 
our  Board  of  Health,  as  occasion  re- 
quired and  means  were  provided.  He 
was  not  a  pure  man  in  his  relations 
with  women,  and  the  leprosy  of  whicli 
he  died  should  be  attributed  to  his  vices 
and  carelessness.  Others  have  done 
much  for  the  lepers,  our  own  ministers. 

■Robert  Xoula  Stevenson. 

the    government     physicians,    and     so 
forth,    but    never    with     the    catholic 
idea  of  meriting  eternal  life, 
"lours,  etc., 

"C.  M.  Hydb."* 

To  deal  fitly  w4th  a  letter  so  ex- 
traordinary', I  must  draw  at  the  outset 
on  my  private  knowledge  of  the  signa- 
tory and  his  sect.  It  may  offend  others ; 
scarcely  j'ou,  who  have  been  so  busy  to 
collect,  so  bold  to  publish,  gossip  on 
your  rivals.  And  this  is  perhaps  the 
moment  when  I  may  best  explain  to 
you  the  character  of  what  you  are  to 
read :  I  conceive  you  as  a  man  quite 
beyond  and  below  the  reticences  of 
civility:  w^ith  what  measure  you  mete, 
wdth  that  shall  it  be  measured  you 
again;  with  you  at  last,  I  rejoice  to 
feel  the  button  off  the  foil  and  to  plunge 

•From  the  Sydney  Presbyterian,  October  26, 

fMhcx  Damien. 

home.  And  if  in  aught  that  I  shall  say, 
I  should  offend  others,  your  colleagues, 
whom  I  respect  and  remember  with 
affection,  I  can  but  offer  them  my  re- 
gret; I  am  not  free,  I  am  inspired  by 
the  consideration  of  interests  far  more 
large;  and  such  pain  as  can  be  in- 
flicted by  anything  from  me  must  be 
indeed  trifling  when  compared  with  the 
pain  with  which  they  read  j-^our  letter. 
It  is  not  the  hangman,  but  the  criminid, 
that  brings  dishonor  on  the  house. 

You  belong,  sir,  to  a  sect — I  believe  my 
sect,  and  that  in  which  my  ancestors 
labored — which  has  enjoyed,  and  partly 
failed  to  utilize,  an  exceptional  advan- 
tage in  the  islands  of  Hawaii.  The 
first  missionaries  came;  they  found  the 
land  already  self- purged  of  its  old  and 
bloody  faith;  they  were  embraced,  al- 
most on  their  arrival,  with  enthusiasm ; 
what  troubles  they  supported  came  far 

■Robert  Xouls  Stevenson.  7 

more  from  whites  than  from  Hawaii- 
ans;  and  to  these  last  they  stood  (in 
a  rough  figure )  in  the  shoes  of  God. 
This  is  not  the  place  to  enter  into  the 
degree  or  causes  of  their  failure,  such 
as  it  is.  One  element  alone  is  pertinent, 
and  must  here  be  plainly  dealt  with.  In 
the  course  of  their  evangelical  calling, 
they — or  too  many  of  them — grew 
rich.  It  may  be  news  to  you  that  the 
houses  of  missionaries  are  a  cause  of 
mocking  on  the  streets  of  Honolulu. 
It  will  at  least  be  news  to  you  that, 
when  I  returned  your  civil  visit,  the 
driver  of  my  cab  commented  on  the 
size,  the  taste,  and  the  comfort  of  your 
home.  It  would  have  been  news  cer- 
tainly to  myself  had  any  one  told  me 
that  afternoon  that  I  should  live  to 
drag  such  matter  into  print.  But  you 
see,  sir,  how  you  degrade  better  men 
to   your    own  level;   and    it  is  needful 

yatbcr  Damien. 

that  those  who  are  to  judge  betwixt 
3'ou  and  me,  betwixt  Damien  and  the 
devil's  advocate,  should  understand 
3'our  letter  to  have  been  penned  in  a 
house  which  could  raise,  and  that  very 
justly,  the  envy  and  the  comments  of 
the  passers-by.  I  think  (to  employ  a 
phrase  of  yours,  which  I  admire )  it 
"should  be  attributed"  to  you  that 
3'ou  have  never  visited  the  scene  of 
Damien's  life  and  death.  If  you  had,  and 
had  recalled  it,  and  looked  about  your 
pleasant  rooms,  even  your  pen  perhaps 
would  have  been  stayed. 

Your  sect  ( and,  remember,  as  far  as 
any  sect  avows  me,  it  is  mine )  has 
not  done  ill  in  a  worldly  sense  in  the 
Hawaiian  Kingdom.  When  calamity 
l^efell  their  innocent  parishioners,  when 
leprosy  descended  and  took  root  in  the 
Eight  Islands,  a  quid  pro  quo  was  to 
be  looked  for.    To  that  j)rosi)erous  mis- 

"Robert  louls  Stevenson.  9 

sion,  and  to  you,  as  one  cf  its  adorn- 
ments, God  had  sent  at  last  an  oppor- 
tunity. I  know  I  am  touching  here 
upon  a  nerve  acutely  sensitive.  I  know- 
that  others  of  your  colleagues  look  back 
on  the  inertia  of  your  church,  and  the 
intrusive  and  decisive  heroism  of  Da- 
mien,  with  something  almost  to  be 
called  remorse.  I  am  sure  it  is  so  with 
yourself;  I  am  persuaded  your  letter 
was  inspired  by  a  certain  envy,  not 
essentially  ignoble,  and  the  one  human 
trait  to  be  espied  in  that  performance. 
You  were  thinking  of  the  lost  chance, 
the  past  day;  of  that  which  should 
have  been  conceived  and  was  not;  of 
the  service  due  and  not  rendered.  Time 
was,  said  the  voice  in  your  ear,  in  your 
pleasant  room,  as  you  sat  raging  and 
writing ;  and  if  the "  words  written  were 
base  beyond  parallel,  the  rage,  I  am 
happy  to  repeat — it  is  the  only  com- 

10  jfatbcr  Damien. 

pliment  I  shall  paj  you — the  rage  was 
almost  virtuous.  But,  sir,  when  we 
have  failed,  and  another  has  succeeded ; 
when  we  have  stood  by,  and  another 
has  stepped  in;  when  we  sit  and  grow 
bulky  in  our  charming  mansions,  and 
a  plain,  uncouth  peasant  steps  into  the 
battle,  under  the  eyes  of  God,  and  suc- 
cors the  afflicted,  and  consoles  the 
d3ring,  and  is  himself  afflicted  in  his 
turn,  and  dies  upon  the  field  of  honor 
— the  battle  can  not  be  retrieved  as 
your  unhappy  irritation  has  suggested. 
It  is  a  lost  battle,  and  lost  forever. 
One  thing  remained  to  you  in  your 
defeat — some  rags  of  common  honor; 
and  these  you  have  made  haste  to  cast 

Common  honor;  not  the  honor  of 
having  done  anything  right,  but  the 
honor  of  not  having  done  aught  con- 
spicuously foul ;  the  honor  of  the  inert : 

IRobcrt  Xouia  Stevenson.  ii 

that  was  what  remained  to  you.  We 
are  not  all  expected  to  be  Damiens;  a 
man  may  conceive  his  duty  more  nar- 
rowly, he  may  love  his  comforts  better ; 
and  none  will  cast  a  stone  at  him  for 
that.  But  will  a  gentleman  of  your 
reverend  profession  allow  me  an  ex- 
ample from  the  fields  of  gallantry? 
When  two  gentlemen  compete  for  the 
favor  of  a  lady,  and  the  one  succeeds 
and  the  other  is  rejected,  and  ( as  will 
sometimes  happen)  matter  damaging  to 
the  successful  rival's  credit  reaches  the 
ear  of  the  defeated,  it  is  held  by  plain 
men  of  no  pretensions  that  his  mouth 
is,  in  the  circumstance,  almost  neces- 
sarily closed.  Your  church  and  Da- 
mien's  were  in  Hawaii  upon  a  rivalry 
to  do  well:  to  help,  to  edify,  to  set 
divine  examples.  You  having  (in  one 
huge  instance )  failed,  and  Damien  suc- 
ceeded, I   marvel   it   should   not   have 

12  yatber  Damfcn. 

occurred  to  you  that  you  were  doomed 
to  silence;  that  when  you  had  been 
outstripped  in  that  high  rivalry,  and 
sat  inglorious  in  the  midst  of  your  well- 
being,  in  your  pleasant  room — and 
Damien,  crowned  with  glories  and  hor- 
rors, toiled  and  rotted  in  that  pigsty 
of  his  under  the  cliffs  of  Kalawao — you, 
the  elect  who  would  not,  were  the  last 
man  on  earth  to  collect  and  propagate 
gossip  on  the  volunteer  who  would  and 

I  think  I  see  you — for  I  try  to  see  you 
in  the  flesh  as  I  w^rite  these  sentences — 
I  think  I  see  you  leap  at  the  word  pig- 
sty, a  hyperbolical  expression  at  the 
best.  "He  had  no  hand  in  the  re- 
forms," he  was  "a  coarse,  dirty  man"; 
these  were  your  own  words;  and  you 
may  think  it  possible  that  I  am  come 
to  support  you  with  fresh  evidence. 
In  a  sense  it  is  even  so.    Damien  has 

"Robert  Xouts  Stevenson.  13 

been  too  much  depicted  with  a  conven- 
tional halo  and  conventional  features; 
so  drawn  by  men  who  perhaps  had  not 
the  eye  to  remark  or  the  pen  to  express 
the  individual;  or  who  perhaps  were 
only  blinded  and  silenced  by  generous 
admiration,  such  as  I  partly  envy  for 
myself — such  as  you,  if  your  soul  were 
enlightened,  would  envy  on  your 
bended  knees.  It  is  the  least  defect  of 
such  a  method  of  portraiture  that  it 
makes  the  path  easy  for  the  devil's 
advocate,  and  leaves  for  the  misuse  of 
the  slanderer  a  considerable  field  of 
truth.  For  the  truth  that  is  suppressed 
by  friends  is  the  readiest  weapon  of  the 
enemy.  The  world,  in  your  despite, 
may  perhaps  owe  you  something,  if 
your  letter  be  the  means  of  substituting 
once  for  all  a  credible  likeness  for  a 
wax  abstraction.  For,  if  that  world 
at  all  remember  you,  on  the  day  w^hen 

14  ffatbcr  Damlcn. 

Damien  of  Molokai  shall  be  named 
Saint,  it  will  be  in  virtue  of  one  work  : 
your  letter  to  the  Reverend  H.  B.  Gage. 
You  may  ask  on  what  authority  I 
speak.  It  was  my  inclement  destiny 
to  become  acquainted,  not  with  Da- 
mien,  but  with  Dr.  Hyde.  When  I 
visited  the  lazaretto,  Damien  was  al- 
ready in  his  resting  grave.  But  such 
information  as  I  have,  I  gathered  on  the 
spot  in  conversation  w^ith  those  w^ho 
knew  him  well  and  long :  some  indeed 
who  revered  his  memory;  but  others 
who  had  sparred  and  wrangled  with 
him,  who  beheld  him  with  no  halo, 
who  perhaps  regarded  him  with  small 
respect,  and  through  whose  unpre- 
pared and  scarcely  partial  communica- 
tions the  plain,  human  features  of  the 
man  shone  on  me  convincingly.  These 
gave  me  w^hat  knowledge  I  possess; 
and  I  learned  it  in  that  scene  where  it 

■Robert  louis  Stevenson.  15 

could  be  most  completely  and  sensi- 
tively understood  —  Kalawao,  which 
you  have  never  visited,  about  which 
you  have  never  so  much  as  endeavored 
to  inform  yourself:  for,  brief  as  your 
letter  is,  j^ou  have  found  the  means 
to  stumble  into  that  confession.  "  Less 
than  one-half  of  the  island,"  you  say, 
"is  devoted  to  the  lepers."  Molokai 
—  '' Molokai  ahina,'*  the  "gray,"  lofty, 
and  most  desolate  island — along  all 
its  northern  side  plunges  a  front  of 
precipice  into  a  sea  of  unusual  pro- 
fundity. This  range  of  cliff  is,  from 
east  to  west,  the  true  end  and  frontier 
of  the  island.  Only  in  one  spot  there 
projects  into  the  ocean  a  certain  tri- 
angular and  rugged  down,  grassy, 
stony,  w^indy,  and  rising  in  the  midst 
into  a  hill  with  a  dead  crater:  the 
whole  bearing  to  the  cliff  that  over- 
hangs it,  somewhat  the  same  relation 

16  ffatber  Damfcn. 

as  a  bracket  to  a  wall.  With  tliis  hint, 
you  Avill  now  be  able  to  pick  out  the 
leper  station  on  a  map;  you  will  be 
able  to  judge  how  much  of  Molokai 
is  thus  cut  oflf  between  the  surf  and 
precipice,  whether  less  than  a  half,  or 
less  than  a  quarter,  or  a  fifth,  or  a 
tenth — or,  say,  a  twentieth;  and  the 
next  time  you  burst  into  print  you  will 
be  in  a  position  to  share  with  us  the 
issue  of  your  calculations. 

I  imagine  you  to  be  one  of  those  per- 
sons who  talk  with  cheerfulness  of  that 
place  w^hich  oxen  and  wainropes  could 
not  drag  you  to  behold.  You,  who  do 
not  even  know  its  situation  on  the  map, 
probably  denounce  sensational  descrip- 
tions, stretching  your  limbs  the  while 
in  your  pleasant  parlor  on  Beretania 
Street.  When  I  was  pulled  ashore  there 
one  early  morning,  there  sat  with  me 
in  the  boat  two  Sisters,  bidding  fare- 

TRobcrt  XouiiS  Stevenson.  17 

well  ( in  humble  imitation  of  Damien ) 
to  the  lights  and  jo^'s  of  human  life. 
One  of  these  \Yept  silenth- ;  I  could  not 
withhold  myself  from  joining  her.  Had 
you  been  there,  it  is  my  belief  that 
nature  would  have  triumphed  even  in 
you ;  and  as  the  boat  drew  but  a  little 
nearer,  and  j^ou  beheld  the  stairs 
crowded  with  abominable  deforma- 
tions of  our  common  manhood,  and 
saw  yourself  landing  in  the  midst  of 
such  a  population  as  only  now^  and 
then  surrounds  us  in  the  horror  of  a 
nightmare — w^hat  a  haggard  eye  w^ould 
you  have  rolled  over  your  reluctant 
shoulder  toward  the  house  on  Bere- 
tania  Street!  Had  j^ou  gone  on;  had 
you  found  every  fourth  face  a  blot 
upon  the  landscape;  had  you  visited 
the  hospital  and  seen  the  butt-ends  of 
human  beings  lying  there  almost  un- 
recognizable, but   still    breathing,    still 

18  yatber  Damien. 

thinking,  still  remembering;  you  ^YOul(l 
have  understood  that  life  in  the  laza- 
retto is  an  ordeal  from  which  the  nerves 
of  a  man's  spirit  shrink,  even  as  his 
eye  quails  under  the  brightness  of  the 
sun;  you  would  have  felt  it  was  (even 
to-day)  a  pitiful  place  to  visit  and  a 
hell  to  dwell  in.  It  is  not  the  fear  of 
possible  infection.  That  seems  a  little 
thing  when  compared  with  the  j^ain, 
the  pity,  and  the  disgust  of  the  visitor's 
surroundings,  and  the  atmosphere  of 
affliction,  disease,  and  physical  disgrace 
in  which  he  breathes.  I  do  not  think 
I  am  a  man  more  than  usually  timid ; 
but  I  never  recall  the  days  and  nights 
I  spent  upon  that  island  promontor}- 
(eight  days  and  seven  nights),  with- 
out heartfelt  thankfulness  that  I  am 
somewhere  else.  I  find  in  my  diarj- 
that  I  speak  of  my  stay  as  "a  grind- 
ing experience":   I  have  once  jotted  m 

■Robert  Xouia  Stevenson.  lo 

the  margin,  "  Harrowing-  is  the  word  "; 
and  when  the  Mokolii  bore  me  at  hist 
toward  the  outer  world,  I  kept  re- 
peating to  myself,  with  a  new  concep- 
tion of  their  pregnancy,  those  simijle 
words  of  the  song — 

'"Tis  the  most  distressful  country 
That  ever  yet  was  seen." 

And  observe:  that  w^hich  I  saw^  and 
suffered  from  was  a  settlement,  purged, 
bettered,  beautified;  the  new  village 
built,  the  hospital  and  the  Bishop's- 
Home  excellently  arranged ;  the  Sisters, 
the  doctor,  and  the  missionaries  all  in- 
defatigable in  their  noble  tasks.  It  was 
a  different  place  when  Damien  came 
there,  and  made  his  great  renunciation, 
and  slept  that  first  night  under  a  tree 
amidst  his  rotting  brethren:  alone 
with  pestilence;  and  looking  forAvard 
(with  what  courage,  with  what  piti- 
ful sinkings  of  dread,  God  only  knows  ) 

20  yatber  2)amten. 

to    a   lifetime    of    dressing    sores    and 

You  will  say,  perhaps,  I  am  too 
sensitive,  that  sights  as  painful  abound 
in  cancer  hospitals  and  are  confronted 
daily  by  doctors  and  nurses.  I  have 
long  learned  to  admire  and  envy  the 
doctors  and  the  nurses.  But  there  is 
no  cancer  hospital  so  large  and  popu- 
lous as  Kalawao  and  Kalaupapa;  and 
in  such  a  matter  CYery  fresh  case,  like 
every  inch  of  length  in  the  pipe  of  an 
organ,  deepens  the  note  of  the  impres- 
sion; for  what  daunts  the  onlooker 
is  that  monstrous  sum  of  human  suf- 
fering by  which  he  stands  surrounded. 
Lastly,  no  doctor  or  nurse  is  called 
upon  to  enter  once  for  all  the  doors 
of  thjit  gehenna ;  they  do  not  say  fare- 
well, they  need  not  abandon  hope,  on 
its  sad  threshold;  they  but  go  for  a 
time  to  their  high  calling ;  and  can  look 

■Robert  Xouls  Stevenson.  21 

forward  as  they  go  to  relief,  to  recrea- 
tion, and  to  rest.  But  Damien  shut  to 
with  his  own  hand  the  doors  of  his 
own  sepulchre. 

I  shall  now^  extract  three  passages 
from  my  diary  at  Kalawao. 

A.  **  Damien  is  dead  and  already 
somewhat  ungratefully  remembered  in 
the  field  of  his  labors  and  sufferings. 
*  He  was  a  good  man,  but  very  offi- 
cious,' says  one.  Another  tells  me  he 
had  fallen  (as  other  priests  so  easily 
do)  into  something  of  the  w^ays  and 
habits  of  thought  of  a  Kanaka;  but 
he  had  the  wit  to  recognize  the  fact, 
and  the  good  sense  to  laugh  at"  [over] 
**it.  A  plain  man  it  seems  he  was;  I 
can  not  find  he  was  a  popular." 

B.  "After  Ragsdale's  death"  [Rags- 
dale  w^as  a  famous  Luna,  or  overseer, 
of  the  unruly  settlement]  "there  fol- 
lowed a  brief  term  of  office  by  Father 

22  fatbcv  S)amien. 

Damien  which  served  only  to  pubHsh 
the  weakness  of  that  noble  man.  He 
was  rough  in  his  waj-s,  and  he  had  no 
control.  Authority  was  relaxed;  Da- 
mien's  life  was  threatened,  and  he  was 
soon  eager  to  resign." 

C.  "Of  Damien  I  begin  to  have  an 
idea.  He  seems  to  have  been  a  man 
of  the  peasant  class,  certainly  of  the 
peasant  type:  shrewd,  ignorant  and 
bigoted;  yet  with  an  open  mind,  and 
capable  of  receiving  and  digesting  a 
reproof  if  it  were  bluntly  administered ; 
superbly  generous  in  the  least  thing  as 
well  as  in  the  greatest,  and  as  read}'  to 
give  his  last  shirt  ( although  not  with- 
out human  grumbling)  as  he  had  been 
to  sacrifice  his  life ;  essentially  indiscreet 
and  officious,  which  made  him  a  trouble- 
some colleague;  domineering  in  all  his 
ways,  which  made  him  incurably  un- 
popular  with    the    Kanakas,    but   yet 

■Robert  ILouia  Stevenson.  23 

destitute  of  real  authority,  so  that  his 
boys  laughed  at  him,  and  he  must  carry 
out  his  wishes  by  the  means  of  bribes. 
He  learned  to  have  a  mania  for  doctor- 
ing; and  set  up  the  Kanakas  against 
the  remedies  of  his  regular  rivals:  per- 
haps (if  anything  matter  at  all  in  the 
treatment  of  such  a  disease)  the  worst 
thing  that  he  did,  and  certainly  the 
easiest.  The  best  and  w^orst  of  the  man 
appear  very  plainly  in  his  dealings  wath 
Mr.  Chapman's  money;  he  had  original- 
ly laid  it  out"  [intended  to  lay  it  out] 
"entirely  for  the  benefit  of  Catholics, 
and  even  so  not  wisely;  but  after  a 
long,  plain  talk,  he  admitted  his  error 
fully,  and  revised  the  list.  The  sad  state 
of  the  boys'  home  is  in  part  the  result 
of  his  lack  of  control;  in  part,  of  his 
own  slovenly  w^ays  and  false  ideas  of 
hygiene.  Brother  officials  used  to  call 
it  'Damien's  Chinatown.'    'Well,'  thev 

24  yatbcr   Damien. 

would  say,  'your  Chinatown  keeps 
growing.'  And  he  would  laugh  with 
perfect  good  nature,  and  adhere  to  his 
errors  with  perfect  obstinacy.  So  much 
I  have  gathered  of  truth  about  this 
plain,  noble  human  brother  and  Father 
of  ours ;  his  imperfections  are  the  traits 
of  his  face,  by  Avhich  we  know  him  for 
our  fellow;  his  martj'rdom  and  his  ex- 
ample nothing  can  lessen  or  annul ;  and 
only  a  person  here  on  the  spot  can 
properlj^  aj^jjreciate  their  greatness.' 

I  have  set  down  these  private  pas- 
sages, as  you  perceive,  without  correc- 
tion; thanks  to  you,  the  public  has 
them  in  their  bluntness.  They  are  al- 
most a  list  of  the  man's  faults,  for  it  is 
rather  these  that  I  was  seeking,  with 
his  virtues,  with  the  heroic  profile  of  his 
life,  I  and  the  world  were  already  suf- 
ficiently acquainted.  I  w^as  besides  a 
little  suspicious  of  Catholic  testimony; 

■Robert  Xouis  Stevenson.  25 

in  no  ill  sense,  but  merely  because  Da- 
mien's  admirers  and  disciples  were  the 
least  likely  to  be  critical.  I  know  you 
will  be  more  suspicious  still;  and  the 
facts  set  down  above  were  one  and  all 
collected  from  the  lips  of  Protestants 
who  had  opposed  the  Father  in  his  life. 
Yet  I  am  strangely  deceived,  or  they 
build  up  the  image  of  a  man,  with  all 
his  weaknesses,  essentially  heroic,  and 
alive  with  rugged  honesty,  generosity, 
and  mirth. 

Take  it  for  what  it  is,  rough  private 
jottings  of  the  worst  sides  of  Damien's 
character,  collected  from  the  lips  of 
those  who  had  labored  with  and  (in 
your  own  phrase)  "knew  the  man," — 
though  I  question  w^hether  Damien 
would  have  said  that  he  knew  you. 
Take  it,  and  observe  with  wonder  how 
well  you  were  served  by  your  gossips, 
how  ill  by  your  intelligence  and  S3rmpa- 

26  yatbec  S)amien. 

thy;  in  how  many  points  of  fact  we 
are  at  one,  and  how  widely  our  appre- 
ciations vary.  There  is  something 
wrong  here;  either  with  you  or  me. 
It  is  possible,  for  instance,  that  you, 
who  seem  to  have  so  many  ears  in 
Kalawao,  had  heard  of  the  affair  of 
Mr.  Chapman's  money,  and  were  singly 
struck  by  Damien's  intended  wrong- 
doing. I  was  struck  with  that  also, 
and  set  it  fairly  down ;  but  I  was  struck 
much  more  by  the  fact  that  he  had  the 
honesty  of  mind  to  be  convinced.  I 
may  here  tell  you  that  it  was  a  long 
business ;  that  one  of  his  colleagues  sat 
with  him  late  into  the  night,  multiply- 
ing arguments  and  accusations;  that 
the  Father  listened  as  usual  with  "per- 
fect good  nature  and  perfect  obstinacy"; 
but  at  the  last,  when  he  was  persuaded 
—  "Yes,"  said  he,  "I  am  very  much 
obliged  to  you;    you  have  done  mc  a 

■Robert  Xouls  Stevenson.  27 

service;  it  would  have  been  a  theft." 
There  are  many  (not  CathoHcs  merely) 
who  require  their  heroes  and  saints  to 
be  infallible;  to  these  the  story  will  be 
painful ;  not  to  the  true  lovers,  patrons, 
and  servants  of  mankind. 

And  I  take  it,  this  is  a  type  of  our 
division:  that  you  are  one  of  those 
who  have  an  eye  for  faults  and  failures ; 
that  you  take  a  pleasure  to  find  and 
publish  them;  and  that,  having  found 
them,  you  make  haste  to  forget  the 
overvailing  virtues  and  the  real  success 
w^hich  had  alone  introduced  them  to 
your  knowledge.  It  is  a  dangerous 
frame  of  mind.  That  you  may  under- 
stand how^  dangerous,  and  into  w^hat 
a  situation  it  has  already  brought  you, 
we  will  (if  you  please)  go  hand-in-hand 
through  the  different  phrases  of  your 
letter,  and  candidly  examine  each  from 

28  f  atber  Damien. 

the  point  of  view  of  its  truth,  its 
appositeness,  and  its  charity. 

Damien  w^as  coarse. 

It  is  very  possible.  You  make  us  sorry 
for  the  lepers,  who  had  only  a  coarse 
old  peasant  for  their  friend  and  Father, 
But  you,  who  were  so  refined,  why 
w^ere  j-^ou  not  there  to  cheer  them  with 
the  lights  of  culture  ?  Or  may  I  remind 
you  that  we  have  some  reason  to  doubt 
if  John  the  Baptist  were  genteel;  and, 
in  the  case  of  Peter,  on  w^hose  career 
you  doubtless  dwell  approvingly  in  the 
pulpit,  no  doubt  at  all  that  he  was  a 
"coarse,  headstrong "  fisherman !  Yet, 
even  in  our  Protestant  Bibles,  Peter  is 
called  Saint. 

Damien  was  dirty. 

He  w^as.  Think  of  the  poor  lej^ers 
annoyed  with  this  dirty  comrade !  But 
the  clean  Dr.  Hyde  was  at  his  food  in 
a  fine  house. 

Robert  Xoutd  Stevenson.  29 

Damien  was  headstrong: 

I  believe  you  are  right  again;  and  I 
thank  God  for  his  strong  head  and 

Damien  was  bigoted. 

I  am  not  fond  of  bigots  myself,  be- 
cause they  are  not  fond  of  me.  But 
w^hat  is  meant  by  bigotry,  that  we 
should  regard  it  as  a  blemish  in  a 
priest?  Damien  believed  his  own  re- 
ligion with  the  simplicity  of  a  peasant 
or  a  child;  as  I  would  I  could  suppose 
that  you  do.  For  this,  I  wonder  at  him 
some  way  off;  and  had  that  been  his 
only  character,  should  have  avoided 
him  in  life.  But  the  point  of  interest  in 
Damien,  which  has  caused  him  to  be  so 
much  talked  about  and  made  him  at 
last  the  subject  of  your  pen  and  mine, 
was  that,  in  him,  his  bigotry,  his  in- 
tense and  narrow  faith,  wrought 
potently   for   good,    and    strengthened 

30  #atber  Damien. 

him  to  be  one  of  tlic  world's  heroes 
and  exemplars. 

Damien  was  not  sent  to  Molokai, 
but  went  there  without  orders. 

Is  this  a  misreading  ?  or  do  you  really 
mean  the  words  for  blame?  I  have 
heard  Christ,  in  the  pulpits  of  our 
Church,  held  up  for  imitation  on  the 
ground  that  His  sacrifice  was  volun- 
tary.   Does  Dr.  H^'-de  think  otherwise? 

Damien  did  not  stay  at  the  settle- 
ment, etc. 

It  is  true  he  was  allowed  many  in- 
dulgences. Am  I  to  understand  that 
you  blame  the  Father  for  profiting  b}'- 
these,  or  the  officers  for  granting  them  ? 
In  either  case,  it  is  a  mighty  Spartan 
standard  to  issue  from  the  house  on 
Beretania  Street;  and  I  am  convinced 
you  will  find  yourself  with  few  sup- 

I^obert  Xouid  Stcveneon.  31 

Damien  bad  no  hand  in  the  reforms, 

I  think  even  you  will  admit  that  I 
have  already  been  frank  in  my  descrip- 
tion of  the  man  I  am  defending;  but 
before  I  take  you  up  upon  this  head, 
I  will  be  franker  still,  and  tell  you  that 
perhaps  nowhere  in  the  world  can  a 
man  taste  a  more  pleasurable  sense  of 
contrast  than  when  he  passes  from  Da- 
mien's  "Chinatown "at  Kalawao  to  the 
beautiful  Bishop's-Home  at  Kalaupapa. 
At  this  point,  in  my  desire  to  make 
all  fair  for  you,  I  will  break  my  rule 
and  adduce  Catholic  testimony.  Here 
is  a  passage  from  my  diary  about  my 
visit  to  the  Chinatown,  from  which 
you  will  see  how  it  is  (even  now^)  re- 
garded by  its  own  officials:  "We  went 
round  all  the  dormitories,  refectories, 
etc. — dark  and  dingy  enough,  with  a 
superficial  cleanliness,  which  he"   [Mr. 

32  ffatbcr  JDamien. 

Dutton,  the  lay  brother]  "did  not  seek 
to  defend.  *It  is  almost  decent,'  said 
he ;  *  the  Sisters  will  make  that  all  right 
when  w^e  get  them  here.' "  And  yet  1 
gathered  it  was  already  better  since 
Damien  was  dead,  and  far  better  than 
when  he  was  there  alone  and  had  his 
own  (not  always  excellent)  way.  I 
have  now  come  far  enough  to  meet 
you  on  a  common  ground  of  fact ;  <and 
I  tell  you  that,  to  a  mind  not  prejudiced 
by  jealousy,  all  the  reforms  of  the  Laza- 
retto, and  even  those  w^hicli  he  most 
vigorously  opposed,  are  properly  the 
w^ork  of  Damien.  Thc}-^  are  the  evidence 
of  his  success;  they  iire  what  his  hero- 
ism provoked  from  the  reluctant  land 
the  careless.  Many  were  before  him  in 
the  field;  Mr.  Meyer,  for  instance,  of 
whose  faithful  work  we  hear  too  little ; 
there  have  been  many  since ;  and  «ome 
had  more  worldly  wisdom,  though  none 

"Robert  Xouis  Stevenson.  33 

had  more  devotion,  than  our  saint.  Be- 
fore his  day,  even  you  will  confess,  they 
had  effected  little.  It  was  his  part,  by 
one  striking  act  of  martyrdom,  to  direct 
all  men's  eyes  on  that  distressful 
country.  At  a  blow,  and  with  the 
price  of  his  life,  he  made  the  place 
illustrious  and  public.  And,  that,  if  you 
will  consider  largely,  was  the  one  re- 
form needful;  pregnant  of  all  that 
should  succeed.  It  brought  money;  it 
brought  (best  individual  addition  of 
them  all )  the  Sisters ;  it  brought  suj)er- 
vision,  for  public  opinion  and  public 
interest  landed  with  the  man  at  Kala- 
wao. If  ever  any  man  brought  reforms, 
and  died  to  bring  them,  it  w^as  he. 
There  is  not  a  clean  cup  or  tow^el  in 
the  Bishop's  -  Home  but  dirty  Damien 
Avashed  it. 

Damien   was  not  a  pure  man  in  his 
relations  with  w^omen,  etc. 

34  yatber  Damfen. 

How  do  you  know  that?  Is  this 
the  nature  of  the  conversation  in  that 
house  on  Beretania  Street  w^hich  the 
cabman  envied,  driving  past? — racy 
details  of  the  misconduct  of  the  poor 
peasant  priest,  toiling  imder  the  cliffs 
of  Molokai  ? 

Many  have  visited  the  station  be- 
fore me;  they  seem  not  to  have  heard 
the  rumor.  When  I  was  there  I  heard 
many  shocking  tales,  for  my  informants 
were  men  speaking  with  the  plainness 
of  the  laity;  and  I  heard  plenty  of 
complaints  of  Damien.  Why  was  this 
never  mentioned  ?  and  how  came  it  to 
you  in  the  retirement  of  your  clerical 
parlor  ? 

But  I  must  not  even  seem  to  deceive 
you.  This  scandal,  when  I  read  it  in 
your  letter,  was  not  new  to  me.  I  had 
heard  it  once  before;  and  I  must  tell 
you  how.    There  came  to  Samoa  a  man 

Kobert  Xouig  Stevenson.  35 

from  Honolulu;  he,  in  a  public-house 
on  the  beach,  volunteered  the  statement 
that  Damien  had  "contracted  the  dis- 
ease from  having  connection  with  the 
female  lepers  ";  and  I  find  a  joy  in  telling 
you  how  the  report  was  welcomed  in 
a  public-house.  A  man  sprang  to  his 
feet;  I  am  not  at  liberty  to  give  his 
name,  but  from  what  I  heard  I  doubt 
if  you  would  care  to  have  him  to  dinner 
in  Beretania  Street.  "You  miserable  lit- 
tle  ,"  (here  is  a  word  I  dare  not  print, 

it  w^ould  so  shock  your   ears).    "You 

miserable   little ,"  he  cried,"  if  the 

story  were  a  thousand  times  true,  can't 
you  see  you  are  a  million  times  a  lower 

for  daring  to  repeat  it?"    I  wish 

it  could  be  told  of  you  that  when  the 
report  reached  you  in  your  house,  per- 
haps after  family  worship,  you  had 
found  in  your  soul  enough  holy  anger 
to  receive  it  with  the  same  expressions ; 

36  yatbcr   Bamicn. 

ay,  even  with  that  one  which  I  dare 
not  print;  it  would  not  need  to  have 
been  blotted  awa\',  like  Uncle  Toby's 
oath,  by  the  tears  of  the  recording 
angel;  it  would  have  been  counted  to 
3'ou  for  your  brightest  righteousness. 
But  you  have  deliberatel}^  chosen  the 
part  of  the  man  from  Honolulu,  and 
3'ou  have  played  it  with  improvements 
of  your  own.  The  man  from  Honolulu 
— miserable,  leering  creature — communi- 
cated the  tale  to  a  rude  knot  of  beach- 
combing drinkers  in  a  public-house, 
where  (I  will  so  far  agree  with  your 
temperance  opinions)  man  is  not  al- 
ways at  his  noblest;  and  the  man 
from  Honolulu  had  himself  been  drink- 
ing—drinking, we  ma}'  charitably  fancy, 
to  excess.  It  was  to  your  "Dear 
Brother,  the  Reverend  H.  B.  Gage," 
that  you  chose  to  communicate  the 
sickening    storj-;  and    the    blue    ribbon 

Uobcrt  XoulB  Stevenson.  ^7 

which  adorns  your  jDortly  bosom  for- 
bids me  to  allow  you  the  extenuating 
plea  that  you  were  drunk  when  it  was 
done.  Your  * '  dear  brother ' ' —  a  brother 
indeed — made  haste  to  deliver  up  your 
letter  (as  a  means  of  grace,  perhaps) 
to  the  religious  papers;  where,  after 
many  months,  I  found  and  read  and 
wondered  at  it;  and  whence  I  have 
now  reproduced  it  for  the  w^onder  of 
others.  And  you  and  your  dear  brother 
have,  by  this  cycle  of  operations,  built 
up  a  contrast  very  edifying  to  examine 
in  detail.  The  man  whom  you  would 
not  care  to  have  to  dinner,  on  the  one 
side;  on  the  other,  the  Reverend  Dr. 
Hyde  and  the  Reverend  H.  B.  Gage ;  the 
Apia  bar-room,  the  Honolulu  manse. 
But  I  fear  you  scarce  appreciate  how 
you  appear  to  your  fellowtnen:  and 
to  bring  it  home  to  you,  I  will  suppose 
your  story  to  be  true-    I  will  suppose 

38  ^atber  iPamien. 

— and  God  forgive  me  for  supposing  it 
— ^that  Damien  faltered  and  stumbled 
in  his  narrow  path  of  duty ;  I  Avill  sup- 
pose that,  in  the  horror  of  his  isolation, 
perhaps  in  the  fever  of  incipient  disease, 
he,  who  was  doing  so  much  more  than 
he  had  sworn,  failed  in  the  letter  of  his 
priestly  oath — he,  who  was  so  much  a 
better  man  than  either  you  or  me,  who 
did  what  we  have  never  dreamed  of 
daring — he  too  tasted  of  our  common 
frailty.  "  0  lago,  the  pity  of  it ! "  The 
least  tender  should  be  moved  to  tears; 
the  most  incredulous  to  prayer.  And 
all  that  you  could  do  was  to  pen  your 
letter  to  the  Reverend  H.  B.  Gage ! 

Is  it  growing  at  all  clear  to  you  what 
a  picture  you  have  drawn  of  your  own 
heart?  I  will  trj-^  yet  once  again  to 
make  it  clearer.  You  had  a  father: 
suppose  this  tale  were  about  him,  and 
some    informant    brought    it   to   you, 

"Robert  Xouis  Stevenson.  39 

proof  in  hand:  I  am  not  making  too 
high  an  estimate  of  your  emotional 
nature  when  I  suppose  you  would  re- 
gret the  circumstance  ?  that  you  would 
feel  the  tale  of  frailty  the  more  keenly 
since  it  shamed  the  author  of  your 
days?  and  that  the  last  thing  you 
would  do  would  be  to  publish  it  in  the 
religious  press?  Well,  the  man  who 
tried  to  do  what  Damien  did  is  my 
Father,  and  the  Father  of  the  man  in 
the  Apia  bar,  and  the  Father  of  all 
who  love  goodness;  and  he  was  your 
Father,  too,  if  God  had  given  you  grace 
■♦■'^  see  it. 

jTartjer  5©amicn. 

APRIL,    1S89. 

4ftO  golden  dome  shines  over  Damien's  sleep; 
J'A     A  leper's  grave  upon  a  leprous  strand, 
Where  hope  is  dead,  and  hand  must  shrink 
from   hand, 
Where  cataracts  wail  towards  a  moaning  deep, 
And   frowning  purple  cliffs  in   mercy  keep 
All    wholesome    life    at    distance,    hath    God 

For  him  who  led  his  saintly  hero  band, 
And  died  a  shepherd  of  Christ's  exiled  sheep. 

O'er   Damien's   dust    the    broad   skies   bend    for 
Stars  burn  for  golden  letters,  and  the  sea 
Shall  roll  perpetual  anthem  round  his  rest: 
For  Damien  made  the  charnel-house  life's  home, 
Matched  love  with  death;  and  Damien's  name 
shall  be 
A   glorious   l)enediction,    world-possest. 

H.  D.  RawnslEY. 

^  Companion  IBoolk. 

~('*ttb«  Xcpera  of  flDolobai,"  b?  Cbarlce  "Oaarren  StoN>art.) 


"Robert  Louis  Stevenson's  'Open  Letter  to 
the  Rev.  Dr.  Hyde  of  Honolulu'  has  pilloried 
the  defanter  of  the  martyr  for  all  time";  in 
Charles  Warren  Stoddard's  transporting  volume, 
the  prologue  to  which  is  here  presented,  the  martyr's 
memory  is  forever  hallowed. 


women  following  a  few  silent  people, 
who  were  being  conducted  with  decent 
haste  toward  the  esplanade  of  Honolulu. 

The  miserable  beings,  with  a  dazed 
look  of  lingering  death  in  their  fearful 
countenances,  were  soon  disposed  on  the 
deck  of  a  small  outward-bound  craft; 
and  then,  in  the  few  moments  that  inter- 
vened between  the  casting  off  of  the 
shoreline  and  the  sudden  impulse  of 
the  little  steamer  as  she  swung  about  in 
mid-stream,  and  made  bravely  for  the 
mouth  of  the  harbor,  the  pitiful  wail  of 
men,  women  and  children  was  renewed. 
Those  grouped  upon  the  extreme  edge 
of  the  wharf  were  wringing  their  hands 
over  the  water,  while  rivers  of  tears 
coursed  down  their  ashen  cheeks.  The 
others,  upon  the  deck  of  the  departing 
vessel,  brooded  for  a  time  as  in  dull 
agony,  but  anon  an  unearthly  cry  rang 
over  the  tranquil  sea:  it  was  their  long 

The  sun,  just  touching  the  horizon, 
seemed  to  pause  for  a  moment,  while 
the  great  deep  burst  into  a  sheet  of 
flame;  tongues  of  fire  darted  and  played 
among    the    wavelets    as    they    tossed    in 


the  evening  breeze;  and  the  broad  rays 
shot  from  cloud  to  cloud,  painting  them 
with  glory,  and  crowning  the  peaks  of 
the  beautiful  island  with  red-gold.  Even 
the  palm-trees  were  gilded,  and  their 
plumes  glistened  as  they  swayed  rhyth- 
mically to  the  low  melody  of  the  tide 
that  ebbed  beneath  them. 

So  faded  that  ill-starred  bark  like 
a  mote  in  the  shimmering  sea.  A  few 
moments  only,  and  the  splendor  died 
away — the  twilight  glow  of  the  tropics 
is  as  brief  as  it  is  intense — and  the  sudden 
coming  of  night  drew  a  veil  over  a  picture 
that,  though  frequent,  is  nevertheless 
painful  to  the  least  sympathetic  observer. 

Darkness  had  come;  the  silence  that 
came  with  it  was  broken  only  by  the 
splash  of  ripples  under  the  bow  of  some 
passing  canoe,  or  the  low  moan  of  the 
water  upon  the  distant  reef.  But  the 
mourners  were  still  crouching  upon  the 
edge  of  the  dock,  whence  their  eyes  had 
caught  the  last  glimpse  of  the  fading 
forms  of  those  whom  they  were  never 
again  to  behold  in  the  flesh;  for  those 
despairing  but  unresisting  souls,  swallowed 
up   in   the   transfiguration   of  the  sunset, 


were  lepers,  snatched  from  the  breast 
of  sympathy  and  from  the  arms  of  love, 
doomed  to  the  hopeless  degradation  of 
everlasting  banishment,  and  borne  in 
the  night  to  that  dim  island  whose 
melancholy  shores  are  the  sole  refuge 
of  these  hostages  to  death:  an  island 
as  solitary,  as  silent,  as  serene  as  dream- 
land— mournful  Molokai. 


Father  Damien.